No corona passport obligation yet in Flanders: "It is not a magic bullet"

There are talks of (re)introducing a corona pass in Flanders as figures are surging. However, a general obligation to show a so-called Covid Safe Ticket (CST) to enter busy places, like in Brussels and Wallonia, will not be introduced yet. Experts put the use of the CST in perspective because the vaccination rate has become so high in Flanders. 

In the beginning, when vaccination rates were lower, this was a very good tool, but now 90 percent of the people aged above 12 years in Flanders has been vaccinated. "So the added value of a corona pass has become smaller", virologist Steven Van Gucht told the VRT. 

A Covid Safe Ticket or corona pass proves you have been double-jabbed, tested negative in the past 48 hours or built natural antibodies by going through the disease in the past six months. You need one to go to sports clubs, restaurants or pubs, cultural events etc. in Brussels and Wallonia. In Flanders a corona pass is only required for mass events. It will stay this for the moment, despite the latest surge in corona cases.  

It's like a slice of Swiss cheese. You need several to close the hole

Virologist Steven van Gucht

Mr Van Gucht underlines that the CST is a useful tool, but that doesn't solve every problem. The word 'safe' in its name is actually misleading, because double-jabbed people can still get coronavirus and pass it on to others - though to a much lesser extent. They also don't get really ill and have a much smaller chance to be taken to hospital than people who haven't been vaccinated.  

Mr Van Gucht would prefer to see a broader reintroduction of face masks, or hopes that people will automatically start to wear one again, e.g. in supermarkets or other busy places. Different safety measures will build different barriers, he says. "It's like a slice of Swiss cheese. Each one has a hole, but if you put several on top of each other the hole will be closed." 

Infectiologist Erika Vlieghe agrees. "The corona passport or CST is not a magic bullet that makes everything corona proof. If you think you have got the virus, stay home or have a test done." 

The name Covid Safe Ticket is misleading

Steven Van Gucht

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